Thursday, July 20, 2023

Popular Sea Life Park attracts animal loving visitors to Honolulu

In a picturesque setting near the Pacific, tourists enjoy a dolphin show at popular Sea Life Park.

The rare Humboldt penguin is happy at
Sea Life Park, here taking a cooling swim.



IT'S 25 MINUTES AWAY from Honolulu, a pleasant ride from the bustle and hustle of Waikiki. But it's another world, a world of wonder, peace and a chance to interact with nature and its beautiful creatures.

Daily shark feeding is one of the draws.

Honolulu's Sea Life Park celebrates Hawaii's love of the sea and the ocean's magnificent residents. Among its exotic and entertaining residents are dolphins and sea lions, and even some endangered species such as the tiny, rare Humboldt penguin.

Bird feeding delights these kids and children of all ages.

Waikiki Trolley stops at the park, making it
easy and relaxing to get from Honolulu and back.
THIS WONDROUS,  family friendly place also showcases a fascinating and busy aviary where tourists can feed dozens of hungry parakeets, literally at arm's length.

Animal encounters, including the park's award-winning dolphin show, are part of the enticement. 

If you're planning to dine there, you'll enjoy sampling the food of a Hawaiian legend, Pink's Hot Dogs. The well known eatery makes its home at the park and offers tasty island fare, including curries and fresh fruit.

 The popular park also offers one of the island's best ranked luaus, complete with authentic entertainment. 

 EDUCATION IS an important part of the park's mission. Families are invited to purchase annual, money-saving passes allowing for reasonable entry fees and multiple visits.

We like to take a break from driving, and enjoy the beautiful drive up the hill from Honolulu, so we book the famous Waikiki Trolley's hop-on and hop-off bus. You'll want the Blue Line for this adventure, and don't worry if the trolley is green.

The pleasant shuttle is open-air and allows spectacular views of Diamond Head, residential areas and the spectacular coast line on the drive up.  

Bringing the roasted pig from the umu, these two
handsome entertainers smile for the cameras.

 OUR FRIENDLY DRIVER stopped at several viewing points along the way, giving us an interesting preview of what we were about to behold at the park: a marine mammal preserve, bird sanctuary and aquarium.   

Start practicing your Hawaiian now if you'd like to pronounce the locale correctly:  the area is called Waimānalo.  It is located in a lush, mountainous area near Makapuʻu Point, north of Hanauma Bay.

Bruce Keller and Christene "Cookie" Meyers
pause for a selfie on the road to Sea Life Park. 
Once there, prepare  to be delighted with the variety of exhibits, shows and user-friendly activities from bird  and shark feeding, to dolphin shows -- one of the best we've seen and we're dolphin show regulars.

 THE PARK's LUAU is another of the park's attractions. Some folks come for the afternoon activities then stay for the luau, ranked among the islands' best. Of the dozens on the islands,  it's the only one that offers games and participation activities.

While awaiting the traditional luau feast, people enjoy lei making, fish net throwing and ukulele lessons. The buffet is considered "tops" for its colorful variety of island delicacies and of course the traditional umu-roasted pig -- the word means earth oven and a luau wouldn't be a luau without this delicious main course offering.

Bird loving Cookie smiles
at a budgie, one of many
parakeets at Sea Life Park.


While you're digesting and listening to live Hawaiian music, you can watch nimble climbers scale coconut trees.

Sea Life Park guests are invited to a series of entertaining  
events and presentations, including feeding of the Humboldt penguins.

IF YOU want to partake of the luau, you'll need to drive your car or take a taxi or Uber, because the trolley doesn't operate at night.  But if you're making a day trip of it, the Waikiki Trolley is a perfect choice.  It's a delightful trip and operates on a convenient hourly schedule. You can time your visit to stay a couple hours or more, and be outside the entrance at the appropriate time.
Entrance fees go to supporting the endeavor, and are lower than most marine playgrounds offering similar activities and critter attractions. 
Adults 13 and older pay $39.99; junior admission, for those 3 to 12 years old, is $24.99. If you're feeling flush, you can also book a dolphin encounter -- we did this for our family party of six on the Big Island at Hilton Waikoloa Village and it was a thrill for all.
 To touch and observe them and swim with them, in a highly supervised encounter, is $179.99 per  person.
The park is 20 acres and boasts 2,000 animals. Well worth a day trip and terrific for families.

More information to enhance your visit:

Roosevelt Arch in Yellowstone National Park, during a
spring shower with a rainbow (double, actually) off
to the right. Spring wildflowers bloom in foreground.

UP NEXT: Come along with us on a a trip through Yellowstone National Park. The season is officially underway and the park is more beautiful than ever.  If you haven't reserved a space yet, you may have trouble.  But we have a few ideas up our sleeve for reserving short-notice rooms, and perhaps staying outside the park.  The park welcomed 3.5 million visitors in 2022, and almost a half-million international nature lovers in May of 2023. Remember to explore, learn and live and catch us weekly for a lively spin on nature, travel, family, performance and more:



  1. Penguins and budgies, what a combo!!

  2. Capistrano SailorsJuly 24, 2023 at 1:51 PM

    This is a very relaxing, fun day.